By: Will Burchfield

Last offseason, Daniel Norris befriended photographer Ben Moon and the two outdoor enthusiasts embarked on a cross-country road in Norris’ old, beat-up van.

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Norris and Moon hit the road again this offseason — only with a slight upgrade in transportation.

“He just got a cool little sprinter van,” Norris said, “and we went out to Ventura and camped in it for like three weeks and surfed every day. Got to go up to Hollister Ranch with the owner of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard.

“It was probably one of the most surreal experiences of my life outside of baseball, just being with these people I’ve kind of idolized in the outdoor world and just being able to surf and paddle out with them. It was really cool.”

Surfing is one of Norris’ favorite hobbies, an outlet from the pressure of professional baseball.

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“It’s a good way to kind of get away from everything. I’m always thinking about baseball, but if I’m out there in the water it gets my mind off it a little bit,” he said.

Though Norris has caught waves in some pretty exotic places, he doesn’t have to go far to get his fix.

“I’ve actually surfed Lake Michigan before, back when I was in Single-A with the Blue Jays. Saint Joseph Bay. They have a little surf shop up there called Third Coast Surf Shop and they’re super rad dudes — shoutout,” he said, laughing.

Norris is also drawn to photography – which explains his admiration for Moon – and has found inspiration for his craft in the city of Detroit.

“I do some landscapes and I think Detroit is really cool for the landscapes just because some of the old buildings are very textured and you can kind of get that depth of feel from them,” he explained. “I really like that.

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“We travel so much it’s nice to have that hobby, it gives you something to do. Wake up and walk around whatever city you’re in and kind of document it.”